Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's new with Julianne Maclean

THE COLOR OF A DREAM is 99 cents!

Greetings cherished readers!  I have great news and something to add to your stash of summer beach reads.  THE COLOR OF A DREAM is on sale for a limited time in ebook format from now until Sunday, July 13, so if you haven’t read it yet, this is your chance to grab it - and please feel free to forward this newsletter to any of your friends who enjoy emotional love stories.
From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes an emotionally charged tale about the power of a dream, and never giving up on seconds chances...
While recovering from a heart transplant, Nadia Carmichael is haunted by a recurring dream that sets her on a path to discover the identity of her donor.  Her efforts are thwarted, however, when the father of her baby returns to wreak havoc on her life.  It’s not until Nadia learns of his estranged brother Jesse that she begins to explore the true nature of her dreams, and discover what her new heart truly desires…

Purchase now at Kobo |  iBooks | Kindle | B&N | Google Play

Do You Love Audiobooks?

Many of you have been waiting for more books in this series to be released in audio format, and I'm thrilled to announce that THE COLOR OF HOPE is now available at Audible, and THE COLOR OF A DREAM is available for pre-order (release date July 22). THE COLOR OF A MEMORY will be released as an audiobook on August 12, and I will be sending THE COLOR OF LOVE into the production studio with my narrators as soon as the manuscript is edited!

And there’s more! Audible has just put IN MY WILDEST FANTASIES on sale for one week only for $3.95 (regular price $19.95). If you’ve never tried an audiobook before, you might be amazed by how much you love it!  I have the Audible app on my phone and it's super quick and easy to download audio books. If you become a member at Audible, there are all sorts of great deals on audiobooks each month.

Download IN MY WILDEST FANTASIES now at Audible and ENJOY!

THE COLOR OF LOVE - Exclusive free excerpt!

Only four weeks to go before THE COLOR OF LOVE is released on August 11!

If you'd like a taste of what’s to come in this novel, read on for an exclusive excerpt, which has not yet been posted anywhere on the internet. This is the un-edited version, so you know you're getting a real sneak peak!  (I always want to make sure my newsletter subscribers are the first to see these things!)

On that note, there is another NEW cover reveal following the excerpt.  THE COLOR OF JOY is Book 8 in the Color of Heaven Series and will be released in February 2015.

Now please enjoy this exclusive free excerpt  from THE COLOR OF LOVE!

     How powerful is love, exactly? Is it strong enough to ward off death? And if so, where does that sort of warrior love come from? Who creates it or sends it to you when you’re shivering in a cold dark cave, alone and without hope? Is it God? Or are we, each of us, alone, responsible for the love that grows and lives in our hearts?
     By all accounts, I should be a dead man. It’s a miracle I’m alive today to tell this story, which brings me back to my initial question: Does love have the power to thrust a person into danger, test his fortitude, push him to the brink of madness, all for the sole purpose of leading him to the place he’s meant to be? Or is it all just luck and coincidence?
     I still don’t know the answers to those questions, and I have no idea why certain events in my life transpired as they did. All I know is that the result was extraordinary and astounds me to this day.
     What is so special about me? Who am I?
     I am just a man—a man who was saved by love.

Chapter One
Adapted from the journal of Seth Jameson
January 2014

     I’m not sure where to begin, so I guess I’ll start by thanking God that I brought this empty notebook on the plane. I’m not much of a writer but clearly there’s a story here to tell, so I’ll do my best to document everything that has happened so far.
     I only hope I don’t run out of paper or ink before we’re rescued.
     If we’re rescued.
     It’s been four days and we haven’t seen a single sign of anything.
     But let me go back first, and explain how I got here.
*   *   *
     It all began two weeks ago when I received a phone call from Mike Lawson, one of my climbing buddies from Australia.  Mike and I had grown up together and we met in Nepal fifteen years ago on our first Everest expedition, and reached the summit together in a perfect moment of triumph and exhaustion.
     I was only twenty-one at the time (Mike was twenty-four) and I’ve since reached the summit six times. Not on my own, of course. I’ve been working as a team leader and guide, helping others travel up the mountain from base camp to achieve their dreams. Mike has always remained a close friend and twice he has joined me to help guide   others to the top of the world.
     Outside of that, we each spend a good deal of time apart, pursuing our own personal ambitions, climbing mountains all over the world and always seeking out media opportunities that could lead to sponsorships, with the goal of finding a way to feed our alpine addictions.
     As I write these words—while contemplating the unbelievable situation I find myself in—I can’t possibly deny the truth of that statement. That my desire to scale mountains is exactly that: an addiction I have never been able to control.
     Just like alcohol or cocaine, the craving to summit new and different peaks each year holds me in its grip, causing me to ignore and lose sight of the people who matter most in my life, while I selfishly feed the beast inside me.
*   *   *
     Two weeks ago, Mike called me at my cabin in Maine to discuss a mountaineering prospect in Iceland. Because we keep in touch regularly through social media, I already knew that Mike had been hired by George Atherton, a billionaire philanthropist, to lead a group of climbers to the top of the Eyjafjallaj√∂kull volcano.
     It’s an easy one-day hike over snow and ice, but what interested me most about the expedition was the fact that there would be a camera crew tagging along to film a documentary about the billionaire who was funding the trip.
     Mike had intended to lead the hike with his current climbing partner and significant other, Julie Peters, but Julie broke her ankle while skiing in Quebec a week before shooting was scheduled to begin. Mike wanted to know if I could drop everything and fly to Iceland and take her place.
     Since I’ve been dealing with my Everest clients through email (that expedition will occur in March, April and May), I didn’t see why I couldn’t continue to manage that from Iceland and make a few extra bucks in the process. The volcano hike was supposed to be quick three-day gig after all, and who knew what might come of it? Mike and I both want to make names for ourselves in the climbing world, and judging by the filmmakers who are on board for the project, it’s quite possible that the doc could win some awards.
     Naturally, I said yes and hopped on a flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I connected with some members of the film crew. We then flew directly to Reykjavik on Mr. Atherton’s private corporate jet.
     It was a decision I now wish I could reverse.

Chapter Two
     Everything seemed normal during takeoff. Though perhaps “normal” isn’t the right word to describe the flight, for there I sat-- Mr. Cheapskate Economy Class--in a soft and spacious mocha-colored swiveling leather chair, unshaven with a slouchy ribbed woolen toque on my head, my backpack at my feet, enjoying fifty-year-old single malt scotch-on-the-rocks in a sparkling crystal tumbler. I don’t want to overdo it, but just before takeoff, the producer handed me box of assorted Swiss chocolates. I opened it on my lap and helped myself.
     I’d never flown in such luxury before and couldn’t believe my good luck. How did I get here? I wondered.
*   *   *
     There were only three of us on board—not including the two pilots—but none of us had met each other before.
     The guy beside me who handed me the chocolates was one of the producers of the documentary. His name was Jason Mehta and he told me he was nervous about the climb because he wasn’t much of an outdoorsman. The most strenuous thing he ever did was run on a treadmill at the city gym.
     I assured him he had nothing to worry to about because it was more of a “hike” than an actual “climb.”
     (Secretly –because I’d already summited Everest five times--I felt it was beneath me to lead climbers on such an easy excursion, but I didn’t express that to anyone, least of all Mike.)
     The guy across from me in the facing seat was a cameraman, and he was mostly concerned about his equipment and how the batteries were going to hold up in the cold temperatures and high altitudes.
     He told me his name was Aaron and he was from Boston.
     “I’m Seth,” I said, leaning forward to shake his hand. “Good to meet you.”
     He fell asleep not long after takeoff, so we didn’t speak again until much later.
*   *   *
     I still don’t know what went wrong. Neither of us do. All we remember is waking up to some wicked turbulence somewhere over the Atlantic.
     “What the hell?” I groaned, waking from a nap and sitting up in my seat to look out the window.
     Beyond the glass, it was pitch black except for the flashing navigation lights on the wingtip of the aircraft, which sent an eerie glow into the clouds.
     Bang! Crash! The plane thumped up and down.
      I’d never experienced such a deafening clamor on a jet before, and it caused my insides to wrench into in a tight knot. I gripped the armrests with both hands and met Aaron’s gaze across from me. He must have woken up around the same time I did.
     “Geez,” he said, his body pressed stiffly against the seat back. “They need to get us out of here.”
      “No kidding,” Jason agreed.
     Bump! Thwack! A warning bell pinged repeatedly.
     The three of us fell silent while the plane shuddered and thrashed about in the sky, pitching and rolling in a sickening sequence of side-to-side figure eights.
     At last the plane leveled out, but it continued to slam up and down on giant boulder-like pockets of air.
     I’d never felt such fear. All I could do was clench my jaw, grip the armrests, and squeeze my eyes shut while I prayed for everything to be over.
     Then suddenly the nose of the plane dipped sharply and we plunged forward into a rapid, spiraling descent. Jason began screaming in terror, but I could utter no sounds. My chest and lungs were constricted; my vocal chords wouldn’t work.
    My mind was screaming, however. Dreadful thoughts were banging around inside my head.
     I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live and fix the things I’d done wrong.
     Please God, make it stop. I just want one more chance. If you let me live, I’ll do better. I won’t break any more promises.
     But God couldn’t have been listening, because we continued to dive toward the earth while the hellish terror raged on.
     At no point did the pilots say anything to us on the intercom. Looking back on it, I suppose they were too busy fighting with the controls to save our lives.
     In those final moments, I opened my eyes and turned my head toward the window. There was nothing out there but blackness, interrupted only by the rapid flashing of the wing light on the mist.
     Bracing myself for impact, I thought of only one thing.

Chapter Three
     At the moment of impact, I was certain we were all going to die. I believed it because I assumed we were crashing into the ice-filled waters of the North Atlantic.
I wish I could describe all the details of the crash, but it happened so fast, I can barely make sense of it. All I remember is the motion of the plane at the last minute as the engine roared, the nose pointed upward ever so slightly, and I felt a strong, sudden lift beneath us, as if we were taking off again.
     That sensation gave me hope. Was it possible the pilots had regained control? But the very next instant, the wing of the plane collided with something and broke away. The deafening sound of steel ripping apart and glass shattering overwhelmed my ability to think. Somehow, through my debilitating panic, I managed to turn my head and saw a gaping hole in the side the plane.
     The seat Jason had occupied only seconds ago was gone and that part of the floor was missing.
     A fierce ice-cold wind gusted through the interior of the cabin as we scraped at full speed over jagged treetops. Evergreen branches and trunks splintered and exploded as we careened through woods. Loose items flew forward like projectiles into the bulkhead between the main cabin and flight deck, and I felt as if my insides were going to burst into flame from the sheer fright of it all.
     I don’t know what finally stopped us. I must have blacked out for those final seconds because when I opened my eyes and sucked in a breath, everything was dark and quiet.
     Was I blind? Or dead?
     The whole world seemed to have gone pitch black. There were no cabin lights, no sounds of movement, or voices.
     Only then, when the freezing air entered my throat, did I know I was alive.
     Feeling suddenly trapped, I thrashed about in my seat and struggled to unbuckle myself, but my hands shook uncontrollably. I could barely get a grip on anything.
     When at last I was free, I leaned forward to squint through the darkness at Aaron who was seated across from me. All I could decipher was the shadow of his immobile form. Was he alive? I had no idea.
     “Aaron,” I managed to mutter. “Are you all right?”
     He gave no reply.
     Then I remembered my cell phone in the pocket of my vest. I’d turned it off just before takeoff, but it was fully charged.
     Quickly withdrawing it, I pushed the power button and waited for the screen to light up.
     The familiar musical sound of the device filled me with relief, and I waited for it to find a signal so I could dial 911.
     But there was no service. “Damn it,” I whispered, then leaned forward in my seat to shine the glow of the screen upon Aaron.
     He was hunched over sideways. His whole face was drenched in blood.
     “Oh God,” I whispered, moving closer to try and help him. I took hold of his wrist and found a pulse, then shone my cell phone light over the top of his head to search for the source of the bleeding.
     It appeared to be a clean gash just below his hairline, but not life threatening, as long as his skull wasn’t fractured. He must have been sliced by a flying piece of metal or some other loose object.
     “Aaron,” I said, shaking his shoulder. “Can you hear me?”
     Still, he offered no response, so I applied pressure to the wound for a moment while I tried to figure out what to do next.
     Rising from my seat, I searched for my backpack and found it shoved up against the bulkhead. Quickly I rifled through it for my flashlight, knife, and first aid kit, then returned to help him.
     Within minutes I had wrapped a bandage around his head and was now on my feet, checking my cell phone again for service.
     Still nothing.
     I turned it off to conserve the battery, slipped it into my back pocket, and shone my flashlight around what was left of the interior of the plane.
     For a somber moment, I paused to stare at the place where Jason had been sitting not long ago. How lucky for me that I had chosen my seat and not his when we boarded.
     Poor Jason. I wondered if he might be alive out there somewhere…
     Beneath the hole in the floor was a bed of snow, and along the open side, a thick wall of Evergreen boughs.
     Carefully, I turned and made my way toward the flight deck to check on the pilots. To get there, I had to step over my large backpack and a mess of dented aluminum crates that must have flown forward from the galley.
     I found the cockpit door unlocked, but I struggled to open it because the panel was warped and became wedged against the floor.
     When I finally squeezed through the narrow opening and shone my light on the scene, it was not what I’d hoped to find.
     The nose section of the jet had been completely smashed in. Thick pine branches filled what was left of the space. I wrestled with the prickly growth, fighting to thrust the disorderly green boughs out of the way, but in the end, all I found were two dead pilots, their bodies crushed up against the flight control panel.
     The gruesome sight of their empty eyes caused me to lose my breath, and I stumbled backwards, fell out of the cockpit and landed on my back on top of the cabin debris.
Panic and nausea flooded through me. I slammed the door shut with my boot.
     That’s when I heard the scream.
*   *   *

Pre-order THE COLOR OF LOVE at Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

New Cover Reveals!

Coming February 2015
All for now and see you next time!

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